Grounding is a distraction coping strategy that changes inward focus outward. Two of the three ways involve what’s in your line of sight or objects you are in direct contact with. It anchors the mind to present realities. This coping strategy works best before or just when emotions begin to feel overwhelming.

People who practice this strategy use one of three methods that works best for them:

  1. mental,
  2. physical, or
  3. soothing.

Each offers about ten tactics to build outward focus. Rate your emotional pain and current mood to begin any of the three methods. Keep your eyes open to scan your immediate surroundings.

Visual aspects of Grounding are more prominent in the mental and physical methods. A soothing plan may be a safe retreat, like a pedicure or a hot shower. Mental grounding may include environmental descriptions that are simply and swift like identifying letters on a board. Physical grounding requires safe places for touch, joint impact, taste, and audible (focus on your breathing) settings.

Grounding is a distraction coping strategy that brings a worthy examination of what we choose to surround ourselves with. A safe emotional place to detach from emotional pain is productive with positive visual associations of color, text, imagery, and objects.

What associations are best for you? To learn more about this technique, plus additional coping strategies schedule a session with one of our performance coaches.

Resource: Lisa M. Najavits, Seeking Safety (2002)

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